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Hardball Weekend

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

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Boehner 11, Us 8, Washington 5, Reid 4, Jared Bernstein 3, John Boehner 3, Harry Reid 3, Wayne Lapierre 3, Msnbc 2, Usaa 2, Nra 2, Chris Matthews 2, U.n. 2, Newtown 1, Middle America 1, Zzzquil 1, Jared 1, Pinocchios 1, Fa-la-la-la-la La 1, Kumbaya 1,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    News/Business. The best of  
   'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'  

    December 23, 2012
    4:00 - 4:30am PST  

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>> well, i think obviously barack obama will be an enormous influence on american life and the world in general, depending on what he does in his next two years in the presidency or perhaps the next six years, depending on what happens to the economy in this country. >> all right. well, that's all the time we have here. thank you so much. willie geist, mike barnicle, thanks for watching our special, "the most." it was a lot of fun. >> yeah, it was. >> even if george bush was on the list. i thought you behaved yourself very well. all right. >> yeah. >> well, thank you so much for being with us. merry cliffmas. let's play hardball.
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good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, fiscal cliff hanger, president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scale-down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. the president met with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead, we have heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference, the head of the nchl ra said the solution of gun violence in this country is simple, more guns. armed officers in every school. it is the same line we have heard before from the nra. has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed
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since newtown. what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of a real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. they have lurnlged too far to the right. president obama tapped kerry to be the next secretary of state. let me finish with the great new movie about getting bin laden and how one person can make a huge difference. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff. david corn is the washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine and msnbc contributor, jared bernstein was chief economic adviser to vice president biden. gentlemen, president obama tonight said he had spoken with speaker boehner in addition to meeting with senate majority leader harry reid. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner, and i also met with senator reid.
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in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class americans, protects unemployed for 2 million americans and lays the groundwork for deficit reduction. that's an achievable goal. that can get done in ten days. once this legislation's agreed to, i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it pass both chambers. >> jared bernstein, is this actually a setback for the president insofar as the embarrassed speaker was someone at least with whom he was dealing and now the president really doesn't have a negotiation partner? >> i don't think so. i do think in a way it's a setback for the nation because the president and speaker boehner were actually moving to a credible, plausible compromise at the very beginning of the week. and, of course, that's horribly off track now when john boehner decided to go to plan b.
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i think the leverage if anything is enhanced by this. the problem is i don't know why republicans would nibble at this idea of essentially passing the senate bill. that's what he was describing today sometime before the end of the year when they can wait a few days, go over the cliff and tax rates automatically reach reset higher -- i know this is silly, but then they can have a massive tax cut for the broad middle class and have. call it a day. >> is the prospect of a grand bargain gone? >> the prospect of a grand bargain is absolutely gone for the near term. there's no way you could craft that in the few days between now and the end of the year. that doesn't mean that next year they won't be able to sit down and have reasonable conversations about tax reform and entitlement reform, not with these house republicans. i don't know why come kumbaya is supposed to break out in january. if the republican caucus continues to have gridlock and dysfunction as their ultimate goal, there won't be any reforms.
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>> what becomes the sequestration if the only thing that can be agreed upon are those that receive a continuing tax break? >> there's a possibility in a kind of small board deal that they agreed to kick it down the road. it is complicated. basically, cutting the taxes on the broad middle class, resetting the amt and what's called the doc fix so medicare doctors don't take a 30% pay cut by the middle of january. that's probably what i expect to see. the sequester, maybe they'll agree to kick it down the road, but maybe it will have to occur. david corn, analyze the tea leaves, talk about the politics. it seems as if the more conservative republican members of the house seem to be unwilling to go along with any deal that's interpreted as a tax increase for anybody. >> i mean, the republican clown
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show got clownier last year, if that's a word. it was kind of remarkable that those of us in washington watching politics for years to see a speaker of the house fail so miserably to win support for his own measure. he couldn't figure out what was on his own caucus, and so that means that the president really is not negotiating with anybody who can really make a deal. he can't -- you know, he can't cover any check that he writes at the oval office. i mean for weeks now on this show and others, you know, people have been talking about deals and chris matthews always getting on me for being a debbie downer. the real issue is whether boehner can bring along members of his caucus for anything and we saw last night that he really can't and it puts everybody in a tough position, but the president does end up, i think, with a more reasonable upper hand. >> i think jair rad is right, it becomes easier to deal with some of the stuff after the tax cuts expire. >> well, david -- >> but the other thing i would alert you to is once they get through this, think what happened last night and what's happening this week is really a
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bad -- a bad omen for what the republicans might try to do once again on the debt ceiling in january or february. >> let me ask you about an interim step because president obama argued tonight both parties can agree that taxes on the middle class should not go up. let's watch what he said. >> in ten days we face a deadline. in ten days under current law, tax rates are scheduled to rise. on most americans. and even though democrats and republicans are arguing about whether those rates should go up for the wealthiest individuals, all of us, every single one of us, agrees that tax rates shouldn't go up for the other 98% of americans, which includes 97% of small businesses. every member of congress believes that. every democrat, every republican. so there is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. >> david corn, why won't republicans take that deal?
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>> well, because i think they're scared of being accused of voting for a tax hike on the rich if they do this deal before the a tax cut expires. we have said for weeks it would be a lot easier for republicans after the tax cuts to come and vote for the 98% below and say, hey, we took the best tax cut deal we can. >> jared, i think that many in the country, and i speak to folks every day for three hours a day. i think that many were hoping for so much more. republicans and democrats, who took a look at that year-long effort, simpson-bowles, and thought it had some attractive qualities because there was equal pay. you know, the military was getting cut, entitlements were being reformed, taxes were being altered. we're nowhere near any of that now. >> put me on the list of the many people are you talking
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about. i may be a hard-boiled policy wonk but we're exactly where they are. i think compromise is the only way we get from where we are to where we need go, and what i've tried to stress and the president has been good on this lately as well. we actually have an economic recovery. it's not strong yet, but it's starting to gain some traction. and the idea that you would deal a self-inflicted blow to that right now is absolutely crazy. listen, some of the deals we've been talking about, just to amplify some of the things david said, first of a all this is a very old deal. this is nothing new. and not only will republicans not vote for it because of the 2% point david made but they will not vote for not to top 2%, the top 0.2%. that was the plan b. that's how out of touch they are. on the debt ceiling, the president has continuously said, i will not negotiate. republicans are operating from a playbook where we go over the cliff and they get some leverage because of the debt ceiling. the president has to be careful to not give him that leverage.
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he must not negotiate with republicans on the debt ceiling. >> one more clip i want to show you today. president obama said there's a difference between where american people are and where congress is. watch this. >> people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful and much more willing to compromise and give and sacrifice and act responsibly than their elected representatives are. there's a mismatch right now between how everybody else is thinking about these problems, democrats and republicans, outside of this town and how folks are operating here, and we've just got to get that aligned. nobody can get 100% of what they want, and this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who doesn't. >> david corn, that is the sentiment that i made reference to a moment ago. that's what i hear most on a day-to-day basis. people who are critical of both
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the rs and the ds say, my god, why can't they be adults and hash out a deal? >> let's be fair here. the president is talking about congress, but the real issue is republican house members, not even republican senators. he's doing what he often does in these negotiations, he's being soft on the opposition at this point in time. he also mentioned he's still talking to john boehner, so i think he still has faith here or hope. he didn't whack boehner or make a distinction between democrats and republicans. he sort of vaguely -- he attacked the vague congress, but at the end of the day, it's quite clear he can bring a lot more democrats to the table who are willing to compromise, maybe give on issues they don't want to give on than boehner can. so it's not even a congressional problem. it's not even a republican problem. it's a house republican problem. i think at some point in time the president is going to have to change his message a little bit to make that abundantly clear to those americans who are listening. >> you know, i hear your frustration and criticism with speaker boehner. a part of me feels sorry for
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him. >> i wish i could. i'm under the belief that president obama and speaker boehner in a room together could cut this deal. i think boehner can't control his colleagues. >> well, yes, that's true and i've heard that sympathy for boehner and that's true, but on le the other hand, really good politicians solve problems and he hasn't been able to solve that problem at all. >> an aide to senator read says, senator reid fully agrees that they should pass the bill that extends tax cuts for families up to $250,000, extends unemployment insurance and delays the so-called sequester while we negotiate additional policies next year, but the bottom line is that moving forward on any solution will require corporation from speaker boehner and senator mcconnell.
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we hope they will return from christmas ready to cooperate. perhaps senator reid trying to fill the vacuum that's been left from what happened in the house. >> senator reid can try to fill that vacuum but he only controls one half, you know, one of the two bodies in congress. it still boils down to this dynamic that hasn't changed in a year and a half. >> thank you, david corn and jared bernstein. we appreciate your time. coming up, the nra speaks one week after the school massacre. that's ahead. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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it's been a week since the massacre in newtown. today the national rifle association waded into the debate over gun control with a
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strange press conference. the group's ceo wayne lapierre blamed laws banning guns at schools for violence. his position, more guns. the nra called for putting an armed guard at every school in the country. >> the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now. >> training thousands of armed guards and what would it accomplish? would one armed person have really been able to stop last
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week's killer with his semiautomatic rifle and body armor? msnbc political analyst david corn is the washington bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine. are you comfortable with what the nra put forward today? >> absolutely. this is the only answer. more guns equals less crime. if we don't arm the teachers and have guards, this is going to happen again. >> do i understand your view that it would be a requirement for teachers? >> what if i'm a teacher who does not know how to carry a firearm? i'm not proficient and i don't want anything to do with guns. >> i don't want my kid in your school. >> wow, really. >> i'll send my kid to another school. >> so to a person whose pursuing a career in education, going to college with that desire because they want to school young people, they would also need to be trained and comfortable with
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the idea of carrying a weapon? >> unfortunately, this is the world we live in. >> this is not a panacea. >> wait a minute, david. with that logic, why not arm the students as well. >> the students are children. >> an 18-year-old high school senior. i mean by your logic they, too, should all be carrying weapons and the lunch ladies and the bus driver. >> no, but i think the college kids should be armed, absolutely. if they want to. they have the right to protect themselves. the government cannot protect us. they can't be everywhere all the time. the government has delusional thinking. >> it's such a complicating subject and i hate to play into the sound bite. we're 5% of the world's population and we've got 50% of the guns. >> you know, today i think the nra planted a flag on planet bizarro. i hate to use a sound bite like that. but we have more guns in this country and we have more gun violence in this country than any other western industrialized nation and they don't see a link and, in fact, what they then say
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is, we need more guns like our guest just said. that's the world we live in. we live in a world where everyone around the country has mentally deranged people, violent movie games, violent music as we do, and yet they don't have the number of guns we have and strikingly, oddly enough they don't have the same gun violence that we do. i don't know why that point escapes wayne lapierre. and our guest on the show tonight. >> mr. siebold, i feel naive. i'm confused. i expected the nra to embrace universal background checks. i thought nra might get out in front of the ban on military assault rifles. i don't think that message played so well which is what david is saying in middle america. >> the problem not the nra. the problem is we're having the wrong conversation as usual. we should be talking about
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mental illness, not guns. they don't massacre a bunch of people. >> what i'm trying to say is the mentally ill have free access to our weapon. "the new york times" had a front page story about the swiss cheese nature of the fbi's record-keeping pertaining to those who have a mental illness or those who shouldn't cary a weapon because of criminal illness. >> listen, michael. >> real quick. >> this is what wayne lapierre said. he talked about mental illness. they're opposed to background checks on people who go to gun shows, who sell guns to each other privately, not through gun stores. so it doesn't matter. >> i was shocked by that. i wish we had more time. thank you, david corn. thank you, steven siebold. up next, the most challenged quotes of the year. stick around for the side show. if you want to follow me on twitter, you just need to know how to spell smerconish. this is the place for politics. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see?
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow."
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first a look at the pinocchios. "the washington post" assigns a certain number of pinocchios to statements from politicians that might be factually challenged. we remember some of the big ones. romney said jeep was shipping american joshs over to jobs over to china and the one from the superpac that seemed to blame bain capital for the death of this workers life. enter, rick santorum. >> euthanasia in the netherlands, but half the people who are euthanized, it's 10%. of all deaths, half of those people are euthanized involuntarily at hospitals so they are older and sick. and so elderly people in the netherlands don't go to hospital. they go to another country because they're afraid because of budget purposes that they will not come out of that hospital. >> don't go trying to track down statistics about involuntary euthanasia in the netherlands.
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you will find no such facts. now, to harry reid. he made the rounds saying that mitt romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. >> the word is out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let me him that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't. >> now reid said he got his information from a former bane investor. without any further explanation, he was awarded the maximum number of pinocchios. also u.n. ambassador susan rice has come to terms with the circumstances that led her to take her own name of of the running for secretary of state. her opening line, quite, my talking points for this evening have been provided to me and fully cleared by the intelligence community. how could this possibly go wrong? believe it or not, things took a turn for the palin later on in her speech. quote, day after day, i engage in highly substantive, highly technical negotiations with my
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colleagues here at the u.n. like the russians. as a matter of fact, i can see the russian mission from my house. finally, did you think the holidays would come and go without seeing president obama singing "deck the halls." not so. he is back in the game. ♪ deck the halls with bows of holly ♪ ♪ fa-la-la-la-la la ♪ don we now our gay apparel ♪ fa-la-la-la-la la >>. ♪ toll the ancient yule tide carols. >> that's from the same team that allowed us to see call me maybe. that's it for now. up next, your business with j.j. ramberg. [ loud party sounds ]
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